Spaghetti bolognese

Photographer: Emma
Serves 6

For as long as I have been contributing to this blog I have toyed with the idea of posting a recipe for spaghetti Bolognese.  Long has it been a staple meal in our family and I am pretty sure that it is the first recipe Mum taught me to make many, many years ago.  I am not sure what stopped me, perhaps it is the perception that it is a commodity dish, one which is whipped up in haste at the end of a long day and consumed without thought with the sole purpose of filling an army of empty tummies.

Bolognese is in fact a dish which demands generous measures of attention and love, a dish which certainly cannot be whipped up in haste, but instead must be cooked long and slow.  Only this way can you ensure that your Bolognese sauce is rich in colour and flavour and has a depth to it which will perfectly compliment a bowl of al dente pasta and a healthy sprinkling of parmesan cheese.


2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 rashers streaky bacon, finely sliced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 kg beef mince
1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh marjoram, stripped from the stalks and roughly chopped
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup red wine
1 cup water
2 400g tins tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes)
¼ cup tomato paste

600g of fresh egg pasta cut into spaghetti to serve
Parmesan cheese


1. Place the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and garlic and cook for 20 minutes or so until fragrant. Add the bacon and carrot and continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the mince and cook through, using the back of a wooden spoon to break it all up.
3. Pour in the wine and cook for several minutes until absorbed before adding the remaining ingredients. Cook over a low heat for 1-2 hours. The longer you cook the sauce the more developed the flavours will become. This is the most important part of the process – do not cut corners here!
4. Serve over spaghetti/tagliatelle and liberally sprinkle with parmesan cheese.